"The Dreaming Tree" 24"x 30" acrylic on canvas by Colleen Wilcox
I recently finished one of my latest original acrylic on canvas paintings which I entitled "The Dreaming Tree." This piece was one of those rare paintings that I named long before I finished it. In fact, this piece was started back in December but I never seemed to have time to come back to it until this summer. It encompasses my range of emotions/moods/insights for the past six months, while still staying true to my original vision. I wanted to create a piece that not only expresses my love for Hawaii's magnificent trees and starry nights, but to capture a particular mood or moment in time.
Although I have always appreciated trees, I became particularly fascinated by them after painting a few over the past couple of years. Every time I paint something new, whether it is a specific type of plant, flower, etc., I seem to gain a new awareness of it. The next time I see it in person, I never look at it the same way as I did pre-painting. While living on the north shore last year, I became fascinated with a particular banyan by Shark's Cove that I would ride my bike to. It seemed so majestic and wise, sitting there next to the beautiful ocean. I liked to go and sit under its branches and marvel at its sense of presence and strength. It seemed so certain, sure, and consistent...no matter what the weather or the season. This is what inspired my previous painting "Enchanted Banyan," and I have never looked at banyan trees the same way since.
When I started "The Dreaming Tree," I wanted to convey the feeling you get when spending time out in nature next to a beautiful vista, landmark, or tree, etc. I chose to make it a nighttime scene, so I could express the feeling of sitting outside and looking up and pondering the mysteries of the night sky. This scene is from my imagination, although I used many online photos and real life trees/ locations for reference.
Although the reason I paint is to express emotions/moods/moments that are difficult to put into words, if I had to describe this piece I would use adjectives like whimsical, enchanted, mysterious, and magical. If I could, I would jump into "The Dreaming Tree" painting, and sit by the tree's moonlit branches under the stars and allow its presence to fuel my spirit and ignite my inspiration. I hope this painting does the same for you!